Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling Talk About The Making Of Drive
Two years ago I listened to an interview with Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn by Elvis Mitchell on KCRW (while driving in L.A.) and found the man interesting and intriguing, so I started looking into his work and fell for his powerful color-blinded visual and oddly timed scenes.
Whether you liked Drive or not, and Winding Refn’s work in general, there is a harsh generosity in the way he talks about his craft that makes his interviews a great learning tools for me, because he is so clear about who he is and what he wants, and never hides what happened even if it might seem shameful or not very glorious.
In both Bronson and Drive, the first encounter with Hardy and Gosling were odd, to say the least, and I just felt relieved to hear someone admitting that sometimes the connection is just not immediate, and that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen. I also enjoyed that Winding Refn used one of his limitation -being color blind- as a strength, not hesitating to put heavy contrasts and strong colors in his movies, which became his signature.
In an interview at Comic-Con, the director talks about his relationship with sound and how he worked on enhancing as much as he could every sounds surrounding the Driver:
I take sound very seriously and I started [working on it] at an early stage. I had to make the film quickly because there wasn’t a lof of money and I had a Cannes deadline very early on. I like contrasts in sounds, just like I like contrasts in colors because I am color-blind and I can’t see mid-colors. All the sounds were always designed as contrasts, they were always cut-off before the other one comes in, so there was never a wavy kind of feel to it, it was always very raw. And then it was a way to describe what is inside the driver’s car, what is inside Irene’s world, so these things had their own identity.
In an interview for The Film Stage, both the director and the actor talk about the unusual process that saw Drive going from a 60 million dollars action movie with Hugh Jackman to a six weeks shooting with Gosling with a director’s approval in his pocket.
Here is a breakdown of the questions:
Nicolas Winding Refn:
- [00:20] Can you talk about how the project ‘Drive’ came about?
- [1:04] What interested you about the script?
- [1:59] Had you seen Walter Hills ‘The Driver’ before making your film?
- [2:22] Why did you dedicate ‘Drive’ to Alejandro Jodorowsky?
- [2:50] Can you talk about the fairy tale quality of ‘Drive’?
- [3:55] How was it like directing your first major Hollywood film?
- [5:01] How was it working with Ryan Gosling?
- [5:52] How difficult was it shooting on a tight budget?
- [6:53] Can you talk about the challenges you face in remaking ‘Logan’s Run’?
- [7:19] What made you want to work with Nicolas Winding Refn?
- [8:39] How did you and Nicolas prep for the shoot?
- [9:07] What was your first encounter with the director like?
- [9:39] What did you draw on to motivate the character you play, Driver?
- [10:33] Can you talk about the techniques Nicolas used as a director?
- [11:27] Has working on ‘Drive’ made you want to learn more about cars?